India puts its best foot forward

Government initiatives and measures have helped the Indian logistics industry to compete in the international market. As logistics and cargo industry continues to grow big and maintain its buzz, Mahesh Trikha, Managing Director, Aargus Global, shares the company’s 25-year journey towards bringing efficiency while adapting to new market conditions.

How do you see the present status of the logistics and cargo industry?
The logistics is and shall remain the buzz for minimum of five years from now on. I believe it’s on a strong footing and will continue to grow this year onwards again.

What changes you have seen in the industry, since the inception of Aargus Global Logistics?
Aargus Global is now in its 25th year of inception and a lot of water has flowed since. One of the most impacting factors is the mode of communications which has drastically changed. With the introduction of mobile phones, email, etc. the turnaround time has improved drastically resulting in overall efficiency and speed. The advanced IT systems and software for the industry, whether in the field of tracking, invoicing, EDI filing, freight forwarding, warehousing etc. has put the country’s logistics scenario on global hubs attracting lot of financial assistance/FDI for many in the fraternity.

Where does the Indian logistics industry stand vis-a-vis the international market?
We are among the top seven economies of the world and our target is to be on the 4th position by 2025. This is really a good sign as India’s industry stand vis-a-vis the international market is going to be ever strong. We can hope and see spurt in Indian manufacturing figures, under ‘Make In India’ programme of our government, putting Indian logistics industry on a strong footing with others.

Everyone talks about challenges in the Indian logistics industry, how responsible is the government and the industry to bring about efficiency at work?
Government and its agencies play vital roles in this as the policies flow from there. Here are some of the measures taken by the government which I feel have helped the industry.One of the most pleasing factors in this regard is that the government has created a separate department for logistics and now we have Secretary – Logistics in Department of Commerce, Government of India. It shows the commitment of the government to help the industry and more importantly the foreign companies who are eager to set up the business here. The Single Window concept of the Government of India has put India on an appreciable position in world ranking, on ease of doing business list; the introduction of GST is a welcome step and has helped the industry in a big way on transit times of transportation across India, hence helping the efficiency levels further.

What are the changes that you would like to see about in making the industry more efficient?
One of the most important changes in current systems is the advancement of IT and support system. With regard to import and exports, another important aspect shall be to hook up all government agencies on EDI of customs. This makes the international logistics/forwarding more efficient. We would like to see the advantage of Skill India initiative. This should lead to more skilled workers/staff at all levels and will boost efficiency.

How would you like to contribute towards making these changes?
The way forward, we have started investing in focussed training of our team. We have updated our software to be among the best in industry in India or comparable to best in the world. Increasing efficiency in the company is our objective. We are flexible in adapting to new technologies and market conditions.

How do you ensure that your company stays on top of its game?
We shall be celebrating silver jubilee on June 1, 2020. We have gone through all weathers of business environment and been successful in professionally managing our company. It’s only because of the team members who have been with us for more than 20 years, team consisting of stalwarts and professionals of the industry, with mix of experienced and new blood.

After my son, Saurabh Trikha, taking took over since 2010, we have grown three times and are well set to grow further. Our ability to adapt to changes required from time to time, support of customers, well balanced team, introduction of latest technologies, specialisation of handling of niche products mainly pharma, DG, Aircraft on Ground (AOG), ecommerce and auto parts along with project cargo etc. gives us additional advantage and confidence to stay on top of the given situations.